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Attorney General Harris strongly believes in the importance of teaching digital citizenship in schools. This page contains links to a variety of resources for educators on children's cyber safety. The resources are those of organizations with appropriate expertise.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires an online site or service to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from a child under the age of 13. COPPA also has a role in in the connected classroom. The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the COPPA Rule, has articles and guidance for educators and administrators:

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Curricula and Teaching Materials

  • Graphite, a free, online resource from Common Sense Media, helps educators discover, use, and share the highest quality apps, games, websites, and digital curricula.
  • i-LEARN: Training modules to teach or train educators on the i-SAFE curriculum. Internet safety concepts and instruction on implementing the i-SAFE Internet Safety Program are included. It is only available to those registered as educators.
  • Lessons and Teaching Materials from National Cyber Security Alliance and Others (StaySafeOnline.org)
  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum to teach identity safety for grades K-12, including Going Places Safely K-2, Keep It Private K-2, and Private and Personal Information 3-5 (commonsense.org)
  • Youth Privacy: My Privacy, My Choice, My Life Canadian web site that can help teach kids how to keep their privacy, a significant part of digital citizenship.
  • In Your I! Video clip scenarios, lesson plans and handouts to teach students about privacy online.
  • OnGuard Online: Federal government website with practical tips and flash-based quizzes on topics such as identity theft, spyware. phishing, spam and ecommerce/shopping online. Their colorful flash-based quiz section would be great for student use.
  • Think Before You Post: This public service announcement from the Cyber Tipline powerfully depicts the consequences of posting pictures on virtual public bulletin board spaces.
  • Passwords Are Like Underwear: A good password is critical to network security. The University of Michigan developed a password security educational program consisting of five colorful, eye-catching posters with catchy phrases, "Passwords are like underwear... change them often."
  • FTC Tools for Teachers: Information from the Federal Trade Commission on protecting student privacy online.
  • Educator Resources from NetSmartz: Materials include videos and downloadable activity cards by grade level for K-12.
  • NetSmartz Real Life Stories: Scroll to the bottom of their site to find, "Julie's Journey, Amy's Choice and Tracking Teresa." These short video clip stories relate the choices of young girls who met face to face with someone they met online. There are accompanying lesson plans in the form of activity cards for both middle and high school.

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  • Common Sense Media offers a Cyberbullying Toolkit to help educate students about cyberbullying and respectful online behavior.
  • Focus on Cyberbullying from Carnegie Mellon University's MySecurityCyberspace web site, provides guidance and discussion topics for teachers to use in the classroom (middle to high school level).
  • Information for Educators on Cyberbullying from attorney Parry Aftab of StopCyberBullying.org and WiredSafety.org.
  • StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators, and others in the community can help stop, or prevent, cyberbullying.
  • You Can't Take It Back and Broken Friendship: Videos from NetSmartz available in English and Spanish on online bullying. Activity Cards for Grades 5-12.

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Piracy and Plagiarism

  • Information about copyright protection and awareness, from the Motion Picture Association of America.
  • Teaching Copyright: A curriculum and website to help educators explore copyright issues in their classrooms, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights in the online world.

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School Policies

  • Common Sense Media offers an E-rate toolkit that includes resources to help schools comply with Internet safety educational requirements.
  • E-Rate Internet Safety Education Certification Toolkit: This is a one-stop, full-service program from which schools and school districts may obtain free top-of-the-line, grade-specific Internet safety curriculum on social networking, chat rooms and cyberbullying (plus many other optional e-Safety curriculum and resources) associated with a "no-hassle" administrative service that provides schools/districts with auditable documentation records upon which they can predicate and authenticate the Internet safety education "certification" that by law must accompany all E-Rate grant applications. Information on the E-Rate Internet Safety Education Certification Toolkit is online at www.isafe.org/erate.
  • The Seven-Step Planning Process for Safe and Effective Schools was developed by the California Department of Education and outlines steps to develop and implement a school safety plan at your site. The California Technology Assistance Project Region 4 provides downloads and links to helpful information and resources that can be used to support each step in your plan.
  • Developing a Comprehensive District Strategy to Address the Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet by Students: An internal assessment tool from Nancy Willard, Center for Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon School of Education
  • Publicity Release Form: School District example of a publicity release form for parent signature, authorizing use of a student's photo.
  • The Model School Library Standards page on the California Department of Education website features what students should know and be able to do in order to succeed in school, and in the workforce. Because Cyber Safety is integral to student success, links and tools on Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy are also on the CDE’s School Library Standards page.

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Social Networking

  • FBI-SOS: The FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge is an internet safety program designed to help students recognize potential dangers associated with the internet, email, chat rooms and social networking sites. Participating students, who enroll through their school with parental permission, take a pre and post quiz and surf specific web sites in an Internet scavenger hunt for internet safety knowledge. Each month the school with the highest team score receives a trophy and a visit from the FBI.

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State and Federal Laws

  • S.1492 "Broadband Data Improvement Act" (Title I) and "Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act" (Title II) : Among other things, this law [signed by the President on 10/10/08, amending 47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(5)(b), the Communications Act of 1934] requires that elementary and secondary schools having computers with Internet access MAY NOT RECEIVE SERVICES AT DISCOUNT RATES [i.e., E-Rate grants] unless they submit to the Commission a certification that as part of their Internet safety policy they are "educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response."
  • California Education Code §§ 51870-51874": The California Technology Assistance Project, among other things, requires school districts as a condition of receiving a technology grants from the State Department of Education to have education technology plans, which include educating pupils and teachers on the "appropriate and ethical use of information technology in the classroom, Internet safety, the manner in which to avoid plagiarism, the concept, purpose, and significance of copyright."
  • California Education Code §§ 32261, 32265, 32270, and 48900 defines bullying of pupils to include bullying committed by means of an electronic act, and authorizes school officials to suspend or recommend for expulsion pupils who engage in bullying.

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